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Tekec Nativity Scene

The Tekec Nativity Scene (so called after the house known as Pri Tekcu) is one of the most beautiful achievements of folk and religious culture in Slovenia.

The nativity scene was made by the Tržič shoemaker Jožef Ribnikar (1902 – 1970). He started carving the 25-centimetre-high figures from linden wood using a cobbler's knife when he was still a youth. He began setting up the nativity scene in 1935, adding the last figures in 1970.

The depiction was inspired by the events from the Holy Bible. At the center of the scene is shown the birth of Jesus and the population at that time. In 2000 his son Vinko added to his father's vision of the Christmas story  with an initial scene of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter and a final scene of their flight to Egypt. In the foreground he added a decaying temple and aqueduct to illustrate the end of antiquity and the beginning of our era, while a drawing and relief in the background portrays the landscape that continues behind Bethlehem in depth. In an illuminated niche on the wall the Three Kings ask Herod about the birth of Jesus.

Each wooden figure is unique in itself, and of particular interest are two or three figures together carved from a single piece of wood.

Some figures in the nativity are also moving: shepherds walk, Mary rocks the cradle,  a shepherd chops wood, angels circle above the shed, a shepherd pumps water, and there are many other motions. The mechanics are ingeniously built into the construction by means of various wheels and levers that create the movement.

In the gallery are exhibited paintings and sculptures by Jožef's son Vinko Ribnikar and his daughter Marica Šmid, who have both inherited their father's artistic talent.

contact and further information

Zupan family
Cerkvena ulica 2, 4290 Tržič
T: +386 4 592 31 31 in +386 51 274 374

Opening hours::

From 25 December to 6 January daily from 9 am to 7 pm.
At other times of the year by appointment.

Entrance fee:

Voluntary donations

Worth visiting nearby:

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